Depression is a brain disorder that causes people to be persistently in a depressed mood and is often accompanied by a loss of interest in activities. It’s not like just having a bad day; it causes significant impairment in daily activities. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola on his web site, Mercola.com, one in 20 Americans over the age of 12 struggles with depression. Recent studies have shown that certain nutritional supplements can actually increase the effectiveness of antidepressants used to treat depression.
Although antidepressant medication is used in treating depression, some patients with depression can actually feel more anxious after taking antidepressant medication. Some patients do not respond at all to antidepressants. According to an article published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the following 4 supplements were shown in studies to boost the effectiveness of antidepressant medications such as SSRIs, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants:
- omega-3 fish oil,
- vitamin D and
- SAMe supplements,
This has lead study authors to consider more comparisons between supplements only, medication only, and a combination of both, to see if supplements alone could produce the same results, without all the side effects of medications. Omega-3, for example, is known to be effective on brain health and mental health, and a low level of vitamin D has been linked to depression.
Managing depression without drugs?
According to Dr. Mercola, some supplements may represent a safer way of managing depression without taking dangerous drugs that often have side effects.